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How Dustin Pedroia helped J.A. Happ get back on the mound

04.06.13 at 2:17 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia

TORONTO — Credit Dustin Pedroia for helping the Blue Jays get their starting pitcher on the mound Saturday afternoon.

J.A. Happ got the start for the hosts at Rogers Centre only after going through a lengthy comeback from surgery on the navicular bone in his right foot. The lefty last pitched Sept. 3, 2012, having to ultimately shut things down in order to under go a procedure to put two screws in his injured foot.

Early on in that recovery process, it was Pedroia who lent a helping hand.

The Red Sox’ second baseman, who underwent the same surgery as Happ, was in communication with the pitcher during Happ’s check-up with Dr. George Theodore in Boston in September.

“It just so happens I was getting a check-up in Boston and I talked to him a little bit then, his experiences through it,” Happ said. “He was great in terms of helping with a timeline. It’s a frustrating thing because there’s so much downtime and being off your feet, so he was a help in that way. Just letting me know it’s going to seem like a long time, but you have to bear through it and it’s going to eventually going to get better.

“He was saying it took him several months to get back up and running. It’s basically longer than you think it’s going to be. He said, ‘You need to give yourself that time in order to let it heal.’ It was nice to know because sometimes you want to rush thing. It’s nice to know if you take your time to do it the right way once, you won’t have to do it again.”

The 30-year-old Happ made the Blue Jays’ rotation after posting a 1.90 ERA in seven spring training appearances.

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